Off-Topic Friday: Podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts?

If not, you probably should. There are some great ones out there! Podcasts are certainly better commute material than the latest one-note Selena Gomez tune.

“But I don’t know of any good podcasts,” you say. “Wasn’t there a really popular one last year about a murder?”

Yes. It was called Serial. Don’t ever listen to it. It’s 12 hours long and when it’s over you still don’t know who did the crime.

Don’t worry. I am here to tell you about some good podcasts, which you should download immediately.

Art and Liturgy - Liturgy Guys logoThe first one — the reason for this post, really — is called The Liturgy Guys. It is a new production of the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein, and, like all good podcasts, features three dudes talking about an obscure topic. The eponymous liturgy guys are Dr. Denis McNamara and Christopher Carstens, both professors at the L.I. and famed liturgists. The other host is Jesse Weiler, who is a cool dude and good at puns. They have only produced four episodes so this is your chance to get in on the ground floor. The most recent episode deals with signs and symbols in the Mass, and I was blown away by some of the stuff they mentioned. I had entertained the notion of doing an Art & Liturgy podcast but these guys have really cornered the liturgy-geek podcast market. Now my challenge is to avoid covering the same topics.

Art and Liturgy - Catholic Stuff logoAnother podcast I like is Catholic Stuff You Should KnowThe title pretty much explains it all. The hosts are a set of young priests from Denver who formed a fraternity called the Companions of Christ. One of them is from the Byzantine rite, which I know nothing about, so I am always fascinated by his stories. (Did you know that Eastern Catholics don’t really have stigmatics? Instead, when someone is very holy, they literally glow with supernatural light. AWESOME.) The rest of the priests are cool, too.

Lest you think I’m some kind of NERD who only listens to churchy podcasts, here are some other recommendations:

Art and Liturgy - Heightscast Logo

HeightsCast is a production of The Heights School, a fantastic school for boys in the Washington, D.C. area. It also happens to be my alma mater and my former employer, but I promise I’m not biased. This podcast features conversations with teachers about the humanities and liberal arts, educational philosophy, raising boys into men, practical ideas for family life, and more. If you have boys, want to have boys, were once a boy, or know any boys, this is just a solid listen, even if you don’t live near DC.

Art and Liturgy - How to Do Everything Logo

How to Do Everything is an NPR podcast. It is always hilarious, often enlightening, and hardly ever offensive. The two hosts take questions from listeners and get the answers from experts. They also have an artist-in-residence, which is neat.

Art and Liturgy - The Weeds logo

• I really like politics and public policy, so I enjoy listening to The Weeds. It is hosted by Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Sarah Kliff, three secular humanists who write for the millenial news site Vox. Vox is, generally speaking, the worst, but I love this show because it features very in-depth analysis of policy issues, with conversation based primarily on published data and research. The hosts, despite being outspoken liberals, are careful to be fair and not to misrepresent conservative opinions, which I appreciate. Beware: this show does include swear words and is a smorgasboard of millenial vocal patterns like vocal fry and uptalking. If you can get past all of these negative things, this is the policy analysis podcast for you!

What are your top three podcasts?